My boys . . . sniff sniff

This week, my boys started third grade. Third grade! How is this possible? How are they old enough for third grade?

It makes me weepy.

I know this isn't unusual, a lot of moms get weepy and snuffly at back-to-school time. But for me, it goes a little deeper than "My babies are growing up". For me, there is a whole lot of  "Thank you, God, for their health" thrown in too.

See, my dudes were born early. Waaaaaaaaaay  early. They were born at 25 or 26 weeks, depending on whether you ask my obstetrician or the neo-natologist. Either way, they were born too early. Like, eyes still fused shut, lungs not completely ready, teeny tiny, not-done-cooking EARLY.

Here's what they looked like then:

Please do not adust your monitor. This is Thing 2, a couple of days old, under the bilirubin lights.
Thing 1, a day old.
The first couple of months were rocky, but when they improved enough to be in a bed together, they really began to thrive.

1 and a half months old - still a lot of tubes and wires.
They were very brave, and stubborn. I'm so proud of my little fighters. They ended up coming home about the time they should have been born. Thing 2 still needed supplemental oxygen, until he was about 7 months old. Thing 1 was on room air. They both wore heart and apnea monitors.

I look like I'm 12 years old in this picture.
They were always a little smaller than other babies, and they were slower to meet developmental milestones like sitting up, crawling, walking etc. But they were beautiful, and so sweet.

And they were almost always happy.

About a year and a half old.

As they grew older they started catching up. The gaps between their development and "normal" (how I hate that word) development grew smaller. They started looking a lot more like other kids their own age. More importantly, they were happy, curious, amazing boys.

Thing 1
Thing 2
When they started kindergarten, I sat and looked at old pictures, and remembered how small and fragile and sick they'd been. I remembered how scared I was when the doctors told me everything that could go wrong: blindness, deafness, brain bleeds, cerebral palsey, retardation. Death.

But they beat the odds. They're amazing, wonderful, perfect. Every mother thinks her children are miracles. But mine are. We had a rough couple of years, but none of the things that were supposed to go wrong did. Now, you'd never know by looking at them that they were born so very early, and were so very sick, and had so many factors working against them.

Here they are now:

Third graders!
Thing 1. A little more serious than his brother, and he doesn't particularly enjoy photo shoots.
Thing 2. Always, always, this happy. My little ray of sunshine.
I'm so lucky. Sometimes it hits me out of nowhere, the realization of just how lucky I am. It takes my breath away sometimes.

My sons are awesome. Friendly, helpful, and so smart it's scary. People stop me in public to say how smart and amazing they are but they don't even know. They have no idea how truly amazing these kids are, and how far they've come.

Now, I'm watching a dear friend go through a similar situation with her teeny tiny son. I'm so proud of her, and so sad for her, and so scared for her that I'm surprised I'm not dizzy with it. I wish for ways to help, for something I can do, because I know what she's going through. I've sat in the NICU and stared at my tiny baby through plastic and not been able to touch. I've watched machines breathe for them. And I've had to face the same worries that she and her husband are facing now - worries about what's to come.

But I've also seen pictures of her little guy, and I can tell already that he is every bit as stubborn as my boys. And she and her husband are just as determined as I was.

So I'm pretty sure he's gonna be just fine.

Wow. I need to go blow my nose now.



A rocky relationship

I have a rocky relationship.

Sometimes we get along swimmingly. We take care of each other. We listen to each other, and value each other's input. We meet one another's needs. It's lovely and wonderful.

Sometimes things are slightly less lovely and wonderful. Sometimes, I expect certain things. Nothing crazy, just the stuff that we agreed upon at the beginning of our relationship. I don't want anything extra or special, I just want things to work the way they're supposed to. I have needs, and sometimes these needs don't get met.

No, I'm not talking about my husband. Babe is amazing, and more than willing to see to all my needs.

I'm talking about Blogger.

Blogger is withholding, and fickle, and cantankerous, and sometimes just plain mean. Blogger likes to toy with my emotions. Blogger makes big promises but just keeps letting me down.

In moments of self doubt, I wonder "Is it really Blogger's fault? Maybe it's something I'm doing wrong." I do, after all, seem to be surrounded by a magnetic forcefield that tends to cause any and all electronic equipment - but most especially computers- to malfunction whenever I am near. "What if I'm the problem?" I wonder. I spend countless hours loathing myself and my technological inadequacies.

Then, in the midst of my self-flagellation, my inner bitch speaks up and says "No way. It's all Blogger's fault." And my inner bitch is right (she usually is). I'm not doing this incorrectly, because sometimes it works. But some days, I push the same buttons and type the same codes and do not achieve the desired results. Blogger refuses to perform.

Yesterday was one of those days. As is today. I've tried to make nice - I've whispered sweet compliments, sent flowers and candy. I've tried bribery, and threats. To no avail.

Blogger still refuses to let me post pictures.

I'm thinking the next step might be couples counseling.


Please, bear with me as I try to repair this relationship, try to recapture the magic that has been lost.

Wish me luck.



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I'm back. No really this time.

Hellooooooooo! Is this thing on?

So I thought I was back when I wrote that last post. Turns out not so much. But . . . . ..


I'm so relieved, so proud, so grateful . . .  this could turn sappy real fast so I'm changing the subject.

I'm back. For real this time.

Hey remember that giveaway I entered a while back - the giveaway that I WON? I forgot to show you all the pretty pretty fabrics I chose. Check 'em out.
Alexander Henry "Starling"
Monaluna "Circles" (in Cocoa)
Michael Miller "Groovy Guitar" (this is ALMOST my favorite)
Riley Blake "Retro Umbrellas"
Lots of Dots: Amy Butler "Full Moon" in tangerine, lime, and slate.
Alexander Henry "Bird Seed" (in aqua)
Michael Miller "Zoology" (in citron - THIS is my favorite!)
Heather Bailey "Bijoux Mod Beads"
Aren't they lovely? I've already started sewing with the Mod Beads and the Full Moon dots. Still trying to decide what to make from the Zoology and the Groovy Guitars. I have a fat quarter of each . . . may have to break down and buy more. I'm almost ready to cover my house in the Zoology, but Babe won't let me.

He's heartless like that. Made of stone.

Sewing (and graduating!) isn't all I've been up to, but more on that later.